It is not exactly breaking news that Tom Hanks is currently spending time in Budapest shooting scenes for Inferno, the third installment of The Di Vinci Code franchise. As far as we know, it is the actor’s first time here in our fair city, so based on his iconic film roles, we have put together a bucket list of things for him to do and see, should he have any free time on his hands.
Forrest Gump observed that, “life is like a box of chocolates.” Following the lead of this bon mot, we suggest a visit to the Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé chocolate shop in Budapest’s District 5. This small boutique chocolatier is at the forefront the artisanal chocolate wave that Budapest is currently experiencing. Known for their bon-bons, infused with local flavors like pálinka (Hungarian fruit brandy) and paprika, they won silver and bronze medals from the Academy of Chocolate in London, UK. If life were like a box of Rózsavölgyi chocolates, how sweet it would be!
One of the most iconic scenes from a Tom Hanks film comes in Big, when his character gives an impromptu recital on a toy piano in a toy store. To satisfy his urge for great piano music, and maybe even learn a thing or two, we recommend a visit to the Liszt Ferenc Music Academy. As we related in an earlier post, the Academy was founded in 1875, and the location serves as both a conservatory and concert hall. The exterior is one of the most striking examples of Art Nouveau in central Pest. The interiors are intricate and warm, decorated with frescoes and Zsolnay ceramics. The building is home to two music halls, one large and one small, and throughout the daylight hours you can hear the music of the conservatory students and concert rehearsals trickle through the windows, though we have yet to hear “Chopsticks” done there on a toy piano.
Hanks played a prison guard with a bladder infection in The Green Mile. For respite from whatever ails him, we recommend a visit to the Semmelweis Museum of Medical History. The museum was named after the great Hungarian doctor, Ignác Semmelweis (1818–65), the ‘saviour of mothers,’ who discovered the cause of puerperal (childbirth) fever, and ushered in the practice of surgeons washing their hands before performing operations. The museum features any number of outdated medical instruments as well as an antique pharmacy, which perhaps Hanks could raid should he feel the irritation of that infection flare up again.
via Trip Adviser
And, of course, if he is not too bored with Di Vinci by now, he can stop over at the Museum of Fine Arts, where there are not one, not two, but three works by the old master on show. It won’t take much detective work to track them down – just ask an attendant for a map! First is a sculpture, known as “The Small Equestrian.” In another part of the museum he can find two Di Vinci drawings, studies for the ‘Battle of Anghiari.’ There’s not much intrigue here – and certainly no murders – but if he has some time on his hands, he could try to figure out who rests in the museum’s ever-growing collection of painted mummy sarcophagi.
Mr. Hanks, it’s great to host you. We are sure you will find your own way around, but if you need any more clues into all the city has to offer, just ask.
PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.
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